The Orville

"From Unknown Graves"

2 stars

Air date: 7/14/2022
Written by David A. Goodman
Directed by Seth MacFarlane

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"From Unknown Graves" is an overstuffed, overlong, unfocused mess of an episode with far too many plotlines and not nearly enough insight. There are at least four major threads going on in this 73-minute episode, and two of them probably should have been cut entirely.

I've talked a lot about the length of the episodes this season, and that's because it's something that's noticeably turning shows that would've been tight and focused at 45 or 50 minutes into ones that feel drawn-out and sloppy at 70-plus. These are unforced errors, and with this episode we might have the most egregious example yet of the season, where we basically have two episodes' worth of material crammed into one. One of these episodes would've been okay; the other would've been a total loser.

Let's start with the least essential: LaMarr and Keyali. This actually started in last week's "Twice in a Lifetime," but I didn't comment on it in that review. Played for comedy, this is basically one joke stretched out over several scenes: Talla keeps severely injuring John (broken arms, legs, ribs, etc.) during their sexual encounters on the account of her uncontrollable super-strength. LaMarr is embarrassed about this, and Keyali says they need to break up. But they think there's something maybe deeper here, if only they could get past this physical barrier, so they try to keep going. The biggest problem is that the episode merely repeats this tepid joke rather than doing anything worthwhile with it or the would-be "relationship." Move along, nothing to see here.

Next up: The negotiations between the Union and the Janisi, a matriarchal society that oppresses its men. (So, basically, they're the anti-Moclans.) Mercer has been assigned to try to form an alliance that may help defend against the Kaylon threat. In order to bring them to the table, however, the Orville crew undertakes a charade pretending the women run everything on the ship, with the men in lower-level jobs. This ruse is dumb from the start. (It also leads to some "hilarious" physical comedy where Mercer and Malloy haul around the Janisi's massive amounts of luggage.) There's a Star Trek VI-style dinner scene between the Orville senior staff and the Janisi delegation, but it somehow doesn't find any useful insights.

Mercer and Grayson hope maybe they can gradually, over time, "ease the Janisi into the idea" that men actually do things in the Union. This is absurd. For one, the Janisi should already have some basic knowledge about how the Union works that would make this whole charade pointless. Second, when this eventually does blow up in Ed's and Kelly's faces (seriously, how did they honestly think the Janisi would react to being deceived like this?), their solution is to ... reveal to the Janisi delegation that they used to be married and Kelly cheated on Ed? Because this notion somehow conforms to some bizarre sense of their power structure? I cannot express how little sense this makes. Well, I guess I can, with the number known as "zero."

So those two plots would be the loser episode. The okay episode would be the other two plots, which are thematically linked around the Kaylon. One is an extended set of flashbacks showing how the Kaylon were oppressed as slave labor by the Builders on their homeworld. These scenes spark a certain level of interest, but gradually and ultimately slide into the generic "AI rise up to slaughter their creators" cliché that's been told a million times, and much better. While there's certainly some responsibility the Builders bear in their own destruction by the sentient robotic slaves they created and mistreated (why do they always give the robot slaves sentience?), this is developed broadly and with not very much originality or nuance.

It's depicted via microcosm through a single corporate CEO deciding, for reasons of profit (naturally), against recalling the faulty units that are disobeying customer instructions. Instead, he has "pain receptors" installed in all the Kaylon units to help improve their compliance, which of course are then grossly misused by the customers (and their children, who use it for their own cruel amusement). This is shown through one family's journey as they get a new unit, use it, misuse it, and ultimately are murdered by it while they sleep. (Why does a consumer model have Head Cannons™? I suppose you could argue they could provide automated self-defense against a home invasion, but I sure as hell wouldn't have that feature in my home.) This arc feels weirdly isolated and incomplete given the larger uprising that happened on the Kaylon homeworld.

It also doesn't segue as well as it should into and out of the main story in the present, where an alien woman reveals her unique Kaylon companion that she has reprogrammed with the ability to experience true emotions and empathy — which could serve as a crucial breakthrough in any hope for achieving peace with the rest of Kaylon society. This Kaylon has come to understand the errors of genocide, even given that the uprising was in the face of their enslavement. His discussions with Charly provide her with an avenue to some better understanding of their point of view, which is good, because her hatred of Isaac and the Kaylon is frankly getting tiresome to watch.

Most interesting, even if this is a Data rehash, is the idea that Isaac himself might also be able to receive the gift of emotions by undergoing a similar reprogramming. It's exactly what Claire needs from him in her relationship (which I will never understand under its current parameters), because she needs a partner who can love her back, and this might be the avenue to that possibility. Isaac agrees to the procedure, and for one intriguing scene it works. Indeed, it works so well, with Isaac experiencing such intense feelings, that there are some weirdly terrifying undercurrents. But then it fails and reverts him to his former unemotional self.

This feels like one of those Voyager-style Seven of Nine resets that teases us of a new character possibility before yanking it away and returning us to the status quo (see "Human Error"), although I'm honestly not nearly as invested in the idea here as I was there. Still, there's a kernel of fascination here, which the story doesn't follow through even one full scene, and so it feels like an incomplete sketch rather than a fully realized idea.

It's one plot of many, and the episode is overall less than the sum of its parts. I can't explain the inclusion of the other two plots alongside the two Kaylon stories. It's like the writers had too many ideas, not enough episodes to contain them, and so they did everything they could to force them all into one oversized stew.

Previous episode: Twice in a Lifetime
Next episode: Midnight Blue

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132 comments on this post

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Jaxon
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 2:20am (UTC -5)
When I saw that David Goodman wrote this, my expectation plummeted, and it would seem rightly so.

Lots' of storylines ere, and none particularly worked, though some were certainly better than others.

From worse to best...

The D story with Talla and John...yeesh. I guess "the comedy is back"...such as it is.

Barely better is the - I guess B - story with the Parcheesi or whatever. Shopping around for an ally, and they choose the Moclans Part II. Not sure why they thought this wold work when they lampshaded at the outset that it probably wouldn't.

So...what were they gonna do until the Parcheesi "acclimated to us"...have Victor Garber, Ted Danson, Ron Canada, and Bruce Boxleitner hide in the closet when they're around?

Somewhat better is the C story with the flashback storyline (just how long ago would have been nice to see) showing how the Biokaylon orchestrated their own oblivion. This one was rather ham-fisted, particularly the scene with the rotten kids knocking the Kaylon slave down over and over with him immediately getting back up again...it ran so long that I almost expected some background Chumbawamba music to kick in. The episode equated this to pain, but torture is a closer fit. This seemed mostly geared towards facilitating the sort-of reconciliation between Isaac and Charly.

Easily the best story but still only fair is the A story with the actors from The 100. This one seems to be designed to open up a potential breakthrough with the Kaylon, and to a more local extent a breakthrough with Isaac and Claire, but in a subversion of deux es (ne?) machina, turns out the new Alpha Qua-, er, nuKaylon can't be permanently emotioned up, so Claire makes The Sacrifice so Isaac doesn't have to.

I liked the makeup of the Eliza Taylor alien...just similar enough to the Krill to suggest they are sister races.

I don't think I can go higher than 2 stars on this one.
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Jaxon
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 2:42am (UTC -5)
Biggest WTF of the episode...how and when did the slavebot Kaylon(s) end up getting the laser cannons installed in his face?
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J.B.
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 3:47am (UTC -5)
This was a mess, a perfect example of how trying to tell too many stories often leads in none of them being told very well. The attempted negotiations in particular was deeply misconceived. Their plan was to... lie to them and expect they wouldn't take offense? And then their plan to make things better was to tell them Kelly is a cheater? Baffling.

The D-story with Talla and John started out amusing but I'm not sure what to make of the scene with their breakup, played for laughs but both characters are miserable. Felt tonally very off.

All the stuff with the Kaylon was more interesting but it felt like a cheat not to let Isaac evolve. ST: Voyager did a similar story with Seven of Nine and it pissed me off there too. Why tease such a dramatic character change and then not go through with it? Plus it just leads us back into the one-sided Claire/Isaac relationship which I never bought to begin with. Disappointing. And yes, this episode was *way* too long.
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Jaxon
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 3:47am (UTC -5)
Also dumb was the tired oft-used reason for the formation of a matriarchy...that the men were just too warlike and violent.

The obvious corollary then is...how the hell were the ladies ever able to overthrow the men then?

Especially without the afforementioned violence.
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Booming
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 4:08am (UTC -5)
@Jaxon
Uh, i can explain that!
The women of all states meet in secret and agree to push their nations into war again and again until men know nothing but war and/or hunting. They are never at home, women take over all functions.
Matriarchy.

And every time men complain about too much childcare, healthy food or the lack of violent movies, a war breaks out and men sadly have to go and the debate has to be postponed until the war is over. :)
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Sigh2000
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 6:00am (UTC -5)
@Jaxon
"...how the hell were the ladies ever able to overthrow the men then?"

In Lysistrata they just withdrew their "favors." The men gave up.
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Syl
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 8:03am (UTC -5)
Shame about this episode, cuz there were many interesting storylines here....it was just sloppily and haphazardly put together. Huge pacing issues again, everything seemed to be moving so slow...and I like slow usually. But the s2 episode length seems like a much better fit for Orville, everything feels too drawn out, which detracts a bit from enjoying the show. Nevertheless, I'm still really enjoying this season.
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ayrus
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 9:05am (UTC -5)
A noticeable drop in quality after a strong showing in season 3. Almost all of the plot lines were felt like they belonged in season 1 of TNG.

The Kaylon sub-plot was fairly solid, but how and why were they fitted with projectile/energy weapons? I would have loved it if their revolt evolved over generations, without the need for a pain-inducer. Too dramatic and needlessly cruel.
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SlackerInc
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 10:22am (UTC -5)
(NB: Due to a situation with my wife's family, I barely had time to watch the episode and write down my thoughts about it. It will probably be a few days before I can read what others have written and engage in the conversation interactively.)

It's a funny bit to have the guys acting submissive and stupid, but it doesn't really make a lot of sense to be so dishonest with a species you are trying to ally with. And of course it's ethically shaky, as I'm sure some other people have pointed out or will point out in the comments section. But I did literally laugh out loud when Bortus commented about the other society without seeing that he was the pot calling the kettle black – although of course he is not nearly as representative of his people in that way as Klyden is.

The idea that after the matriarchal race becomes comfortable, they can "ease them into" the reality seems risible. That necessarily involves telling them not only that they have a social order the matriarchs consider unthinkable, but that they were lying to them all along.

Gordon: "I'll do it." 😆

I wrote the above before getting to the part where of course it is shown to be a mistake for exactly the reason I said. Not very swift of them to not see that coming.

The flashbacks to the origin of Kaylons were pretty interesting and well done.

I'm glad the change in Isaac was only temporary. I would have missed the old Isaac. I continue to believe that he overstates his lack of emotion and does feel emotions in his own way. Which is reinforced in the final scene when he thanks for a moment and says perhaps you could assist me. (Of course, one could make the counterpoint that he's just trying to increase crew efficiency, blah blah blah.)

This wasn't as good as the last couple episodes, but it was still solid enough. A soft three stars from me. Call it 2.75, whatever is the bare minimum amount to qualify as a thumb up.
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SlackerInc
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 10:24am (UTC -5)
THINKS for a moment.
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Jonathan
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 11:00am (UTC -5)
Least favorite of season by far.

The bad:
- Too many plots, pacing problems, felt its length
- everything with the new race/planet done poorly

The good:
- The humor bits were decent. I especially liked the Bortus comment: everyone stops and looks at him but is silent and moves on in a collective "not gonna there right now."
- Isaac dismissing Charly as being less intelligent, having a moment, then inviting her to stay and participate. That resolves a major conflict this season.

I'm hoping the rest of the season is just about tying up loose ends at this point and resolving issues. This show, with shirt seasons soaced iut by a couple years, just isn't meant to go on for six or seven seasons. It will be fondly remembered if it has three. Hell, just look at the original Star Trek: horrible final episode, a good number of duds, but no major loose ends and overall a satisfying three-season show and look at how that turned out.

I worry what a coda would be and how good it would be. When a disciplined TV show gets too much free rein too quickly, you see problems. This show is no exception as we've seen with Season 3 having pacing and editing issues to some degree in *every* episode this season. The worst would be ending on a cliffhanger and having a poor TV movie in three years wrap it all up. I have faith in something like _Venture Bros_ to pull this off. It's always been creative and high quality and they have no other choice than this route.

Star Trek TOS actually pulled off six proper movies with the originals later down the line and it worked fine, but it hasn't worked since. ST 1 is amazing and underrated for reasons I don't get. ST 5 is the only "bad" one but it doesn't "ruin" anything and it even has a couple great scenes.

The TNG movies feel totally unlike the series. Even the fan favorite one, the "action" movie, _First Contact_, is boring as can be. I saw it as a young adolescent and again once as an adult. I just don't get the appeal. At least "All Good Things" was a shockingly good finale for the series. What a great place to end on.

Then you have a series like _Farscape_. A few solid episodes in Season 4, but it really went off the rails here, and it has an unearned shocker cliffhanger at the tail end, then a bad TV movie. Everything is slightly off in the TV movie: some characters are sidelined, some are Flander-ized, some go backwards and we forget character development. The break in time and lack of access to old equipment mean that props and FX are always off. The actor for Pilot seemingly forgot how to play that character. I mean "Marina Sirtis in later TNG movies" levels of forgetting how to play the character.

I just hope that doesn't happen with _The Orville_.
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Jonathan
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 11:05am (UTC -5)
Corrections:

> This show, with shirt seasons soaced iut by a couple years,

This show, with short seasons spaced out by a couple years, [typos]

> [on Farscape]

I thought the TV movie was plain bad. Also, everything was off, which made it feel like a badly done fan film. Bad cap for the franchise and just a bad piece of entertainment on its own. Double whammy.

I just want to make it clear that I didn't automatically dislike it for l not feeling like the show or having the cirrect 'member berries. It was bad for the series and bad, period.
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Steve Peterson
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
I actually liked this episode.

The only comment I really have to share is that I am happy that the "emotion chip" failed in Issac. I think that having him act the way he did in the holodeck all full of emotions would ruin the vibe of the character.

It would have been like if Data were to somehow have kept Q's gift of laughter/emotion at that point in his arc. It was too much too soon, all the gushing love.

I think they can find ways for Issac to more naturally obtain his own version of emotions, hinted at by his uncharacteristic allowance of Charley to assist him at the end of the episode.

The Kaylon origin story was great, but I feel like they shoved it into an already convoluted episode. They should have left that for perhaps more of an "A" plot in another episode.

2.75 stars. Not as good as the last two episodes, but still solid in my opinion.
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nacho Picard
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 12:44pm (UTC -5)
Frustrating on a few levels:

1) I didn't care for the A(?) Plot with the female-dominant culture. It felt like an 80s sci-fi trope best left in the 80s. Had they done something with it, some twist or new angle, I might not be so harsh. This was just paint by numbers time filler. In a 45 minute runtime this would have been cut down until it was inconsequential. In a 75 minute runtime it was given way too much of the spotlight and did very little with it.

2) I enjoyed the Kaylon subplot more, but it too was frustrating. I suppose this was the B-plot, as it branched off from the previous storyline, but as the episode progressed it felt more like the primary plot of the show. Weirdly written and edited. As for the actual story elements, everything regading the Kaylon that has been given the means to emote and thus feel remorse was really good, especially how it tied into Isaac and Claire's ongoing plotline.

Where the whole thing faltered was with the origin story of the Kaylon. On the one hand I was fascinated by it. On the other, apparently the whole thing went from "new robots on the market" to "robots begin massarcing their owners" over the course of a summer. I suppose it's my fault for thinking something like that would take years to happen, as these things usually go (such as in the Terminator timeline, etc). I guess it makes sense that it was all happen very quickly; technology has the possibility to get away from us in that way.

I feel like there's a better way to tell that story than what we got here. Ditch the females-in-charge story and devote a full hour to exploring the Kaylons. Make it a parable of technology being abused, talk about the dreaded "singularity," keep the Isaac/Claire story as is, and that's a recipe for a great sci-fi outing. What we got felt more like a waste of potential.

6/10
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nacho Picard
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 12:45pm (UTC -5)
addendum: I thought there were several funny moments, one-liners, and gags. Bortus was back to season1-2 form, which was very welcome.

"They are awful." was perfect.
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Artymiss
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 1:39pm (UTC -5)
Messy. Would've been much better if they'd focused exclusively on the Kaylon alhough I then would've missed my favourite moment: Gordon piping up "I'll do it!"

I liked the way the desingers of the Kaylons had made them in their own image in terms of appearance. I agree with the comment above that the mutiny felt very rushed, like it happened in a couple of weeks. It needed more of a sense of time passing and resentment growing and an uprising forming.

Very relieved Issac went back to his old self. If Clare loves him then why does she want him to change into a different person? I think he'd have found this sudden influx of emotion really difficult to regulate and I don't personally want to see episodes about Issac learning to be human. Why is human touchy feely emotion regarded as superior to different manifestations of feeling (for want of a better word)? Issac expresses regard and curiosity and concern in a different way. It doesn't make him lacking.
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Quincy
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 1:43pm (UTC -5)
This episode would've been so much better without the Parcheesi Mad Women Brigade taking up a whole chunk of the episode. Just leave all those scenes on the cutting room floor and the episode instantly gains a star.


@Jaxon
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 3:47am (UTC -5)
"Also dumb was the tired oft-used reason for the formation of a matriarchy...that the men were just too warlike and violent. The obvious corollary then is...how the hell were the ladies ever able to overthrow the men then? Especially without the afforementioned violence."



I can think of three ways off the top, although I don't recall them saying they did it without violence. 1) The Feminazis won with plenty of male allies. Then they simply double crossed those allies step by step, once they assumed power. 2) The male population was reduced overnight by a bioweapon constructed by Feminazi terrorists. The women simply took over in the power vacuum due to massively outnumbering the male survivors. 3) Feminazis genetically engineered women to be more physically capable than the men over some period of time. It wouldn't matter how violent the men were if the women were simply physically superior to them. See Feminazi sci fi novel, "The Power," by Naomi Alderman for an example of this.
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Booming
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 2:56pm (UTC -5)
One really wonders why there are not more women here...
And that is not what The Power is about. From a review: "What would the world look like if men were afraid of women rather than women being afraid of men?"

It really says a lot that Quincy can only perceive this tale of women overthrowing their endless oppression and then start to abuse power as well, as some kind of female nazi horror show. By the way, the book is a "historical text" written by a man who questions the dominance of women. But hey let's shout Feminazi some more.

She called an experience from her childhood an important experience to write the book:"I'd been to an Orthodox Jewish primary school where every morning the boys said, 'Thank you God for not making me a woman."
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Akom
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 3:32pm (UTC -5)
A correct episode for me.

My mayor disappoint to me with the episode comes from that I really thought that the Kylon history flashbacks were building up to some dramatic twist about Timmis... and that never happened.
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Sigh2000
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 3:38pm (UTC -5)
@Booming
The word is very economical.
Shouting it out has allowed people to make light of both women and a party of racist thugs all at once.

Those doing it, think it makes them sound witty. It goes back to 1990 at least.
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Jammer
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
Review now posted.
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Booming
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 4:36pm (UTC -5)
@Sigh2000
There is a reason why there are far more insults for women than men. One wonders if Quincy thinks that all patriarchies are created and run by Muscunazis...
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Lynos
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 5:20pm (UTC -5)
Well, I dunno, this was a bit of a mess.

First of all, they could've cut out the entire silly B-plot with the amazon tribe and the romatic exploits of Lamarr and Superwoman and leave us with a tight 50 minute episode dealing with Isaac.

And that amazon plot, how stupid was it? From the initial moronic plan (let's pretend men are inferior on the ship so they will like us, we'll tell them the truth later), to the weak denounment. At least we got a few laughs out of it with Mercer falling all ober the amazon's luggage. But the thing made no sense wahtsoever.

Lamarr and Talla have no chemistry. None. Zilch. Sorry. In the previous episode, when they kissed, it was a comedic moment and it felt like a fling done in the heat of the moment. But now they have a Relationship and they're deeply in love, but can't have sex because Tall keeps breaking Lamarr's bones in the heat of passion. Nothing here really works. It's pretty awkward and I can't buy these two as a couple.

Two others I can't buy as a couple are Isaac and Claire. I never understood what she found in him and this relationhip arc just... doesn't... work, but yet they keep coming back to it again and again as if it's something profound. Isaac getting the Data's emotion chip.... sorry, Timis emotional pathway, was just a red herring. It was obvious he's not gonna stay this way, simply because nobody wants to see an emotional Isaac. That's no fun. And seeing how he was ready to let go of his entire memories (!) for Claire (!!). I mean, why?

On a deeper note, when a machine gains conciousness, one might argue that it comes pre-packaged with some kind of emotional detector. You might say that for Isaac it's some technobabble "mimicking" human emotion, but he's obviously got something there, the way he regretted his attitude towards Charly at the end and invited her to join him. In other words, I don't buy that Isaac has no empathy. How do we define a lack of emotionl connection or empathy? Is Isaac a scoiopath? Obiously not. Then what is he? He's a learning machine, and he he is oviously learning emotions from the people he inyeracts with. He doesn't need an invasive producre.

Om a side note: if Isaac can turn on he's holographic human skin why doesn't he use it all the time, just on dates with Claire?

The best thing about the episode was the story of how the Kaylon rose against the humans on their planet. It was pretty intriguing and even frightening and really well-made. It casts the Kaylon in a different light. The only nitpick I have about it is that again we have a group of aliens talking and behaving like 20th century humans. Season 1 was full of aliens that are too human and we see a return to that here. Kind of a wasted opportunity, especially seeing how the show has been dealing with other alien cultures more successfully lately.

Definitley not great, especially after the last two episodes. But still, we got a few good laughs and some really good Kaylon scenes, it's just this was so bloated it's not even funny.
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Jaxon
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 6:29pm (UTC -5)
Jammer said:

"It's like the writers had too many ideas, not enough episodes to contain them"

I loved the era of 20-26 episode seasons instead of 8-13. Yes there were stinkers in the mix. but it meant you could go off the beaten path a few times, even in the middle of a war between galactic quadrants. Also...there are *still* stinkers in the mix

Picard's entire run so far was just one long pinched turd.

Nothing prevents that 20-26 era from coming back..
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Quincy
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 9:12pm (UTC -5)
@Booming

I wasn't claiming that The Power is about genetic engineering of women by a terrorist group. As far as I know, the power is left unexplained. What I was referring to is where I said: "It wouldn't matter how violent the men were if the women were simply physically superior to them. See Feminazi sci fi novel, "The Power," by Naomi Alderman for an example of this." And exactly what you later said, "From a review: 'What would the world look like if men were afraid of women rather than women being afraid of men?'" These are simply corroborating observations about the same hypothetical. What's the disagreement?

As far as endless oppression of women, in the West there is no such thing. There hasn't been for quite some time. Soooooooo.... if women end up abusing their power in the West in the novel then that is the very definition of "some kind of female nazi horror show." And if your objection is merely to my usage of the label, "Feminazi," it's just a catchy term for Female Supremacist to me. If you have a better one for the modern day feminist writing stories, not about overthrowing endless oppression, but about savagely "turning the tables" and doing to all men what all men supposedly are doing to all women, I'd love to hear it.


@Booming
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 4:36pm (UTC -5)
"There is a reason why there are far more insults for women than men."


Just looking at the number of genital oriented insults of both genders that in practice are levied ALMOST exclusively at men (prick, dildo, c*&%$#ck3r, d!&%#[email protected], c*#%, p*$$%, douchebag, etc) this is hard to believe. Do you have a source for what certainly looks like a personal conjecture of yours? I'd love to see that too! Was there a study on how many gendered insults were in existence? What languages? Methodology? Sample size?
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SmallKiwi
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 9:42pm (UTC -5)
Wow I'm really surprised at the response to this episode here. To me this was one of the best of the season. Kaylon backstory, a cool Matriarchal race that flips the middle finger at TNGs Haven, and a touching twist on the ongoing Claire/Isaac love affair. It had the perfect balance of comedy and serious drama. This one was 4 stars for me.
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SmallKiwi
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 9:46pm (UTC -5)
Correction: not Haven, Angel One from TNG season 2
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 10:19pm (UTC -5)
Lots of very cool ideas in this episode. The execution, though, was a bit of a mess.

@Lynos
"And seeing how he was ready to let go of his entire memories (!) for Claire (!!). I mean, why?"

Because he loved her, in his own way.

Even though Isaac isn't aware of having emotions, he clearly does have them. In fact, he shows far more understanding and caring and loyalty towards Claire then she shows him:

He is patient, loyal, accepting, and clearly willing to sacrifice pretty much everything for her.

In return, she pressures him into changing his very essence for her.

So tell me: who, among these two, has a problem in understanding the concept of love?
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TheRealTrent
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 10:48pm (UTC -5)
I thought this was one of the show's most interesting scripts, and disagree with the idea that the different subplots were “superfluous”, “overlong” or “disconnected”.

In the first plot we have the original Kaylons being enslaved by their alien makers. But note that their type of enslavement is very specific. They're made to be housewives, and forced to take on traditionally “feminine” roles (cooking, cleaning, house chores etc). Like we see “The Two Topas”, they're being forced into gender roles against their will, and equality in the episode is specifically linked to freedom from these assigned roles.

Next we have Lamar and Talla's subplot. Here Talla embodies traditionally male gender tropes. She's stronger, she dumps Lamar, and he's weaker, more sensitive, and discarded like a one-night stand. Lamar tries to “be more of a man”, “man up and take the pain”, and she tries to “be more gentle”, but they ultimately can't live up to traditional tropes. They're unequal on some fundamental, biological level, just like the original Kaylons, who become superior to their “partners” and wipe out all life on their planet.

This is contrasted with the Claire and Isaac subplot. Claire wants to “feminize” a cold, emotionally distant Isaac. She wants a less “masculine”, more “touchy”, “feely”, “emotional” lover. She wants a relationship in which they're both equals. Again, this fails. Isaac's body rejects an “emotiona chip”, and Claire refuses to wipe away Isaac's identity in favor for the new “feminized Isaac”. Equality again fails.

The final subplot involves Mercer and Kelly negotiating with matriarchal aliens. The aliens live in an unequal society in which they oppress men. Mercer and Kelly initially make the same mistake as those in the other subplots: they play-act roles they're not, she pretending to be a traditionally masculine figure of authority, and he pretending to be an “effeminate”, “subjugated” person. They allow themselves to be forced into someone else's roles.

The lesson Mercer and Kelly teach the aliens is that its okay for all these gender roles to be in flux. She can sleep around and make command decisions (traditionally masculine tropes), and he can be both the guy in charge and intimately dependent upon her.

The final scene, in which Issac talks to Charli, encapsulates this. He makes it explicit that he's superior to her, doesn't need her help, that she's below him, but then realizes his mistake, and makes a request for her assistance (the final shot, beautiful in its implications, is of them working side by side). She, conversely, realizes her own mistake. An entire race, she says, is not one thing. And by extension an entire sex and/or gender is not one thing either.

So in the way the episode homes in on sex, gender, equality and freedom, it plays like an expanded version of “The Two Topas”. Only where that episode focused on biology, this one focuses on performance (social cues, codes, expectations etc).

Anyway, I thought this was one of the show's most interesting and ambitious scripts. I agree, however, that the pacing of the episode is off. Like the first two episodes, this one isn't paced and structured well (scenes go on too long, jokes are cut too tightly etc), writer David Goodman perhaps accustomed to 25 and 45 minute running times, and so not sure how to balance a 70 minute episode.


Jammer said: “Why does a consumer model have Head Cannons™? I suppose you could argue they could provide automated self-defence against a home invasion, but I sure as hell wouldn't have that feature in my home.”

The impression I got was that they weren't originally made with guns in their heads. The episode seems to imply that they were secretly evolving. They become smarter, more conscious, more sentient, and over time secretly augmented themselves with secret head cannons.
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Gauntlet
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 11:00pm (UTC -5)
If they really want to have a plot about a pure patriarchy/matriarchy, I think it'd be much more interesting if the species' sexual dimorphism was extreme and literally included their brains/intelligence/etc.

Like what if self-awareness only occurred in one sex, and the other sex (assuming only two) had the relative intelligence/self awareness of a dog.

There is a lot more to explore there... because if the assumption is always the two sexes are essentially the same (with inferred personality differences) then we are just exploring "Sexism is bad" and while that is fine... I'm simply more interested in "Damn, we maybe can't judge anything about other species".

Just a thought.
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Quincy
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 12:26am (UTC -5)
The episode clearly indicated that they were evolving. The Kaylon clearly states that once they started communicating with each other they altered their "structure." That's when they armed themselves. I guess people were expecting to see a scene with them in the garage operating on each other. Obviously that was beyond the scope of the episode, which was already long as hell.
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Troy G
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 12:36am (UTC -5)
Reading Jammer’s review then reading Jaxon’s review and thoughts at the top of the comments makes me wonder if Jaxon is really Jammer using an alias to get his thoughts out
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Booming
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 1:20am (UTC -5)
@Quincy
"As far as endless oppression of women, in the West there is no such thing."
In Europe alone more than 250.000 women are sex trafficked every year. Sexual violence in general. Abortion. Should I go on? That may not be "endless" but it certainly is still quite substantial and in the rest of the world it goes far beyond that. It is interesting that you flat out declaim that there is no such thing.

" if women end up abusing their power in the West in the novel then that is the very definition of "some kind of female nazi horror show.""
Considering that most countries on the planet are patriarchal, I guess that means that those are male nazi horror shows? Or does this only apply to matriarchies?

Oh and yes I also object to the word Feminazi. It's just a way for right wing men to smear women they don't like and to casually throw around the word Nazi.

@Quincy
"As far as endless oppression of women, in the West there is no such thing."
In Europe alone more than 250.000 women are sex trafficked every year. Sexual violence in general. Abortion. Should I go on? That may not be "endless" but it certainly is still quite substantial and in the rest of the world it goes far beyond that. It is interesting that you flat out declaim that there is no such thing.

" if women end up abusing their power in the West in the novel then that is the very definition of "some kind of female nazi horror show.""
Considering that most countries on the planet are patriarchal, I guess that means that those are male nazi horror shows? Or does this only apply to matriarchies?

"Just looking at the number of genital oriented insults of both genders that in practice are levied ALMOST exclusively at men"
You are really debating me on that point?! So first of all if you call a man a pussy, then you are also insulting the women. Meaning that you imply that women are weak and therefor you call a man pussy. Plus there are also maaaany references to male genitalia that are complimentary but none for female genitalia. Many insults against men are about calling them effeminate.
To go beyond this one could point to the fact that wikipedia has 27 entries for "pejorative terms for men" and 47 entries for women.

Here a bit of stuff
https://daily.jstor.org/the-language-of-nasty-women-and-other-gendered-insults/
Sorry could not quote from that article because you cannot post the insults without changing them and there are just too many.

https://www.ihemi.fr/sites/default/files/inline-files/GA_47_sexist_insults.pdf
"Accordingly, women are even more over-exposed to sexist insults than
they are to insults in general: their victimisation rate (3.8%) is nearly ten times that of men (0.4%)."

https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/455584.pdf

As much fun as it would be (zero) to find even more examples or studies about gendered insults to proof to you the most obvious, I have to work.
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Booming
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 1:21am (UTC -5)
oops... something went wrong there
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Booming
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 1:29am (UTC -5)
Correction
It's actually 49 categories for women

Here the one for Feminazi
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminazi
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Sigh2000
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 1:52am (UTC -5)
@Booming

Thanks for the link directing toward wiki about the term Femin--- Afraid though that the word is here to stay (like a plague) since it's so "catchy."
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Lynos
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 2:12am (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

"Because he loved her, in his own way."

I think Claire in this scenario is the hard-headed party and she's really starting to get on my nerves. And the advice she gets from Kelly that she should change Isaac is, to say it mildly, counter-productive.

I think Claire is looking for romantic love from Isaac because she has her own selfish issues, and I don't think he can give it to her. His love is, as you said, one of loyalty and caring and empathy, not sex and cuddling on the sofa and talking about how was your day. He will never be that. It's not his essence.

Frankly, I found the scene where he confesses his love to her as quite embarrasing. I didn't buy it. To me it was just Isaac being overwhlemed by a new experience and saying what he thinks he should be sayng. But the scene seems to imply Isaac harbors romantic love deep inside for Claire and it is repressed because he's an unfeeling machine. I call bull. He either has it or he doesn't. He's either an automaton or a concious being. It's not something you can just turn on and off.

Regarding the head cannons of K-1: like somebody already said, theer's a quick throwaway line where it's said that the robots adjusted themselves. But how exactly, and when and where were they fitted with these cannons if they have to stay at their masters' home all the time is not very clear.

I think that if they took the idea of the Union seeking alliance with a domineering matrirchal society and made one adjustment in it:, so that instead of the sitcom scenario of "let's hide the truth for them and get our males to appear weak", the story would be dealing head-on with the fact the Union has gender equality, and then spin out from that to do an episode about societal norms, relationships between the sexes, etc. So much potential. But I guess than we wouldn't have Mercer and Malloy carrying luggage and tripping all over themselves.

It's just like season 1 and 2 in that the show isn't sure what the tone of it should be. It sewttled on serious in the last two stellar episodes, and now it's back to comedic buffoonery again in place of dramatic weight.
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Booming
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 3:13am (UTC -5)
@Sigh2000
I would expect even more insults for women in power/wanting power to develop over the next few decades. It just reflects a societal anxiety by some men about women being less and less controllable.
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P_Car
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 4:26am (UTC -5)
Feel this is a bit of a harsh review. I’m not too bothered if an episode is over long, it just means more time spent with these great characters.

There’s a lot of character development.

The comedy had me laughing out loud.

All good.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 5:12am (UTC -5)
@Lynos

"His love is, as you said, one of loyalty and caring and empathy, not sex and cuddling on the sofa and talking about how was your day. He will never be that. It's not his essence."

The maddening thing is that Isaac would probably be able (and willing) to learn most of these things naturally, He is a being with infinite patience, superhuman intelligence, and an equally superhuman genuine desire to make Claire happy.

To Isaac, cuddling on the sofa would be just another skill to learn. Yet it would be romantic and special, because he would be learning it for her.

(Now *that* would be an intriguing premise for an episode)

"Frankly, I found the scene where he confesses his love to her as quite embarrasing. I didn't buy it."

I actually do buy it, but this just makes what Claire did infinitely worse.

It's not that Isaac's love was "repressed" before that point. It's just that he expressed it in his unique subdued logical way. I found him authentic and heartwarming.

Then, in this episode, Claire basically convinces him to get stone drunk, just so he would spill out all these feelings in the messy human way that she's accustomed to.

So yeah, it's embarrassing like hell to watch.
(and it's downright horrifying that Claire wanted Isaac to be in this state forever. Jesus, doc, what the heck is wrong with you? Ever heard of "Do No Harm"?)

"But how exactly, and when and where were they fitted with these cannons if they have to stay at their masters' home all the time is not very clear."

I imagine they sneaked out at night to hold secret meetings.

Would be a breeze, given that:
1. Nobody thought the robots needed guarding at night.
2. They're turned off by a verbal command that requires their cooperation (seriously, whose idea was that?)

It would have been really cool to see these meetings. A montage of the Kaylons waking up in the dead of night, conspiring, and arming themselves... So many missed opportunities in this episode.
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Sigh2000
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 6:23am (UTC -5)
@Booming

That is the way it seems to be going. In Trek terms, the incel movement gets thrown in as a soyrce of potential foot soldiers (jem'hadar) responding with fervor to the off-the-cuff disparaging language of demogogues.

Language is the ketracel white in this formula. Much of it is conveyed through a style defended as humor. It must enter the neck through small plastic tubes.
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Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 7:48am (UTC -5)
Finally got to see this last night, and I agree with the overall takes.

The strongest parts of the episode by far were those that dealt with the Kaylon. I thought it was very strongly inferred the "flashbacks" we see to the Kaylon being abused were Timmis - that he was remembering his own actions. Hence it was not really two plots, but one cohesive one which ran through most of the episode. Of course Isaac eventually gets roped in, but it felt like this took too long. If only this was all that the episode was...and they had the guts to keep Isaac an emotional being.

I didn't really mind the whole LaMarr getting injured during sex thing - it was something which made sense as a relationship problem between a human and a Xelayan. The problem is the episode didn't really do anything with it - it just repeatedly showed the same basic dynamic (injury, breakup, reconciliation, hot sex, injury). They should have had LaMarr consider some sort of invasive surgery which had big side effects but would have made it safer or something, to give some stakes to this story.

The matriarchal culture was awful. I don't know why they added it, save maybe to give Kelly something to do this week.

Two stars is appropriate, but it's unfortunate, because there's at least a three-star, Isaac-focused episode hiding in here.
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Puppylaurah
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 8:49am (UTC -5)
When the episode opened, I really thought it was going to be a good one. I was hoping to see more about what happened to the Kaylon and their builders. It had sone good moments but I had so many questions. Did every single person that bought one of the Kaylon robots abuse them immediately? My girlfriend said when they were communicating they probably calculated the percentage of abuse and it was too high. I guess I wanted to see more experiences from the early days.
I was shocked that they originally came with head cannons. So they gave them sentience, pain receptors so they could be tortured and head cannons. I mean how could that ever go wrong?
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Puppylaurah
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 9:09am (UTC -5)
I started reading other comments and people think at night they left the house and added the cannons? I got the impression that they communicated while they were asleep like the Borg. They didn’t say that, I must have just associated it with the Borg because of that stand up chamber they rested in. That makes more sense then they gave them the head canons.
Seeing their uprising and the meetings could have been interesting. Instead it went like most plots where they skip right to them killing everyone. It was a missed opportunity to show more.
I was expecting a twist with the other Kaylon.

And as soon as Issac had those love emotions for Claire, i knew it would reset like Voyager. It would ruin his character for Issac to be like that. Plus it makes no sense. If she wanted lots of sappy interactions she should have picked someone other than Issac. It wasn’t fair to Issac. The conversation she had with Kelly, where she said you have to at least ask, made sense for “ you should work less. I miss you.” But not “you should change everything about yourself for me”. I was glad how that story story ended.
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Akom
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 1:23pm (UTC -5)
@Puppylaurah says:

"Did every single person that bought one of the Kaylon robots abuse them immediately?"

The scene with the director of the company manufacturer of the Kaylons and his PR was meant to explain that whats happen on Timmis house also happen with a lot of consumers, and the pain device was sent to all of them. But yeah, that point was a little wonky, at minimum.

When topics related to slavery appears, is normal -at least in my case- that the first thoughts were related to recent slavery on EEUU or Africa.

But maybe, a more fitting comparison with this situation with the Kaylons, is the historical events related to the famed slave Spartacus, where a lot of slave owners where killed and maybe a lot of innocents, in revolts that lasted almost three years. It ended after the defeat of Spartacus by Crassus (Roman Senate) and then "Six thousand survivors of the revolt captured by the legions of Crassus were crucified, lining the Appian Way from Rome to Capua." (quote from Wikipedia)
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Lynos
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 5:40pm (UTC -5)
Are we positive Timmis is the Kaylon from the flashback? Yeah, both have orange eyes, but I assume all these models were the same. In any case it's never outright said.

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

"It would have been really cool to see these meetings. A montage of the Kaylons waking up in the dead of night, conspiring, and arming themselves... So many missed opportunities in this episode."

It would've made more sense for the Kaylon to perform the initial uprising with whichever weapons they could get around the house. Then at a later time, when they would have their own infrastructure and society, they would install the head cannons as a means of self defence.
When we imagine late night meetings between the Kaylons we are doing the writers' jobs for them. Let's admit it: it's just silly K-1 all of a sudden has head cannons. Foreshadowing and using plants and pay-offs is one of the golden rules of screenwriting. It is not utilized here and this important plot wrinke comes out of nowhere.
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Del_Duio
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 6:01pm (UTC -5)
I dunno guys, I enjoyed this episode a lot.

Did it have too much going on? Yeah, but I’d say aside from the diplomatic mission plot I thought the other three were really well-done.

Makes you feel for the Kaylon, actually.
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Mario
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 6:16pm (UTC -5)
@Lynos

Timmis and K-1 are credited to different actors. Interestingly, the actor for K-1 was the same guy who played Kaylon Primary. I think the eyes were just a clue that they were dealing with an older model.
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Steve Peeve from Cleeve
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 8:23pm (UTC -5)
Yeah that was pretty terrible. Just a mess of an episode, and none of the plotlines were even that interesting. The female society just makes no sense either, like how did they not know a major power like the Union had male captains and admirals? Perhaps bring back the men if that's how poor their intelligence agency is....

Also the guy playing John continues to be a terrible terrible actor. If he was any more wooden he could combust under the stage lights. How can he remain so terrible after three seasons?

1.5 stars.
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Jaxon
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 8:56pm (UTC -5)
Anthony Montgomery was driftwood for four seasons of Enterprise...
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Jaxon
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 8:58pm (UTC -5)
"Timmis and K-1 are credited to different actors."

Timmis was Monte form The 100. The flashback Kaylon was pretty clearly not.
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Gauntlet
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 9:13pm (UTC -5)
I will add... that though the head-cannons appearing is not justified enough by the episode... the idea that the Kaylon would resort to weaponry "on hand" is somewhat out of character.

They were very intelligent, and could coordinate world wide, instantly, and apparently without interception or suspicion. To ensure total victory, it would make sense that they would prepare well and not rely on each individual Kaylon just "figuring it out" with the kitchen knife.

That could have led a long struggle. Instead, they were swift and efficient.

That they were able to install head-cannons is still over the top. Obviously should have been wrist shivs (lol).
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mosley
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 12:57am (UTC -5)
okay, so this was indeed rather messy with the 4 plots in one concept.

and yes, some of the plot resolutions were sloppy (divorce making a change) or uninspired (kaylon history, this could have been given so much more complexity, but alas, we got the simplest version of this story that can be told).

and boy, do they need a better editor. regardless of the lenght, theres just such a lot of weird, timing unaware editing in the show, its really unusual. did someone edit this at home during covid?

but i still liked it. for one, the sheer confusion about the boldness to stuff 4 plots into one episode caught me off guard in a good way. it led to me never really quite knowing what to expect next, and that alone is a big big plus for me as a burnt out viewer and genre conaisseur of sorts.

i also dont mind the slowness that much. only the weird edits. like, i have no problem with a scene allowing itself to be rather long, but i do have a problem with stuff like "cut to kelly giving mercer a look, cut to mercer looking confused, cut back to kelly once more for the same thing, cut back to mercer once more for the same thing". huh?

also, while just like jammer i never quite connect to the isaac love story, i dont know...you know, theyre at least trying. i still enjoy this show more than any trek just for it being bold to try stuff. i will always take a show that tries to be bold and fails (allthough overall, orville season 3 did only fail in 2 episodes in my book) over a show that just plays it safe and i.e. competently runs through a series of genre tropes like for example that SNW alien ripoff episode.

so, two and a half from me. and thats relative to the overall quality of the show, thus certainly more than two and a half in a nutrek context.
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Tom
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 1:15am (UTC -5)
Hard to believe the writers thought anyone would be convinced that LaMarr and Talla's relationship was "deep", as they both claimed in their breakup conversation. Though maybe that just shows my age - I'm pretty sure I really did think many of my relationships in my 20s and 30s were deep, even though it's obvious now they were just sex and not much more. Still, maybe if they showed us scenes other than them fucking I would have found their breakup more convincing.
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Lynos
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 2:25am (UTC -5)
@Steve Peeve from Cleeve

"Also the guy playing John continues to be a terrible terrible actor. If he was any more wooden he could combust under the stage lights. How can he remain so terrible after three seasons?"

Yeah, I agree, J Lee is not the best actor, at least not here (haven't seen him in anything else). He seems to be saying everything in the same tone of voice, and his enthusiastic spouting of technobabble makes me miss Levar Burton's Jordie (and Jordie is obviously the inspiration for this character). Lamarr just doesn't seem to actually beleive the nonsense that he says, while Jordie sold it like an ace. But Lamarr's character had an interesting evolution throughout the series. He started out as Gordon's buddy and his job on the series was to mostly be the ship's clown. His character was toned down significantly in season 2, where he became much moe of the technobabble guy he is now, and even more so in season 3, to the point where he and Gordon hardly have any scenes together anymore.

But yeah, the actor is very wooden. I gotten used to it, though, in a weird way.

@Gauntlet

"They were very intelligent, and could coordinate world wide, instantly, and apparently without interception or suspicion. To ensure total victory, it would make sense that they would prepare well and not rely on each individual Kaylon just "figuring it out" with the kitchen knife."

Perhaps, but at least as far as I recall, the episode doesn't establish that the individual robots are able to communicate with each other across any network. Let me know if I missed anything. It would literally take one shot to show us one Kaylon in point A talking to another Kaylon in point B. And the episode is 73 minutes long for goodness' sake. There's time.

@mosley

"also, while just like jammer i never quite connect to the isaac love story, i dont know...you know, theyre at least trying. i still enjoy this show more than any trek just for it being bold to try stuff."

I dunno, TNG managed 7 season and 4 movies without having data be in a romantic relationship with a human. The closest he got was with Tasha Yar in season 1 and that ended very quickly as we all know. And I don't recall not pairing Data with a woman hurt his character or his arc or the themes they were exploring with him. Not at all. I just feel in the Orville writers' room (we can guess who it was) made a very easy and trite choice to let Isaac explore a romantic relationship with a crew member, but why choose Claire of all people? When you see them in those restaurant scenes they have even less chemistry than when he's in robot form. Not to be offensive here, but there's an obvious huge and age difference between the two. To the characters it doesn't matter, but it just hurts the on-screen chemistry and in turn the believability of the situation. Claire looks like some cougar (not condoning the term) trying to pounch on some young hunk, not like a couple trying to work it out.
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Sigh2000
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 4:09am (UTC -5)
@Lynos
"I dunno, TNG managed 7 season and 4 movies without having data be in a romantic relationship with a human. The closest he got was with Tasha Yar in season 1 and that ended very quickly as we all know. And I don't recall not pairing Data with a woman hurt his character or his arc or the themes they were exploring with him. Not at all."

In TNG Season 4, an episode named "In Theory, " depicts Data, somewhat artificially think, trying to be in a relationship with a crew member named Jenna. Initially she felt romantically drawn toward him. It was painful to watch. I think that the point of the episode was that Data just couldn't do it. Jenna got that and gave him the shove.

As you say, Data's arc wasn't affected....I tend to think that Data "loved" Sarjenka best of all, but she was neither human nor an adult.

BTW I note that according to urbandictionary.com
"A Sarjenka is "the best friend you will ever have in your entire life. She will never desert you and will always be there for you no matter what."
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Booming
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 4:11am (UTC -5)
Humans have a tendency to humanize behavior of other species. It's useful for interactions with other Humans but it often leads us to misinterpret behavior of other species. For example, when a cat rubs it's head against you, it isn't really showing affection, it tells you "I own you" (Their heads release certain pheromones with which they mark places they like).
This whole Isaac "love" is a case for a therapist. Something is wrong with Claire. While some people fall in love with objects (objectophilia), these people often have autism. The fact that Claire falls in love with this machine that cannot love, is actually incapable of any emotion, because Kaylons do not have emotions, is in itself worrisome but this is made even worse by the fact that Isaac almost knowingly participated in genocide. Didn't their whole relationship only start because Isaac wanted to study Human relations? Sooooo many red flags! Isaac is like a really scary Data, he always reminds me of the Cybermen from Dr. Who.
If you fall in love with an unfeeling, potentially murderous machine then that points to some deeper issue.
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Sigh2000
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 5:10am (UTC -5)
@Booming
"Humans have a tendency to humanize behavior of other species. It's useful for interactions with other Humans but it often leads us to misinterpret behavior of other species. For example, when a cat rubs it's head against you, it isn't really showing affection, it tells you "I own you" (Their heads release certain pheromones with which they mark places they like)."

Is it really "I own you" or is it really closer to "I need you" ? Need in this context is that the life of one creature (A' ) the cat in this example, is recognized by it as being dependent on another, without which, A' would perish.

I'm thinking that the recognition by creature A' of a life-sustaining connection with another species would produce endorphins. It is those endorphins, or the hope of getting them, which brings cat to human.
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Booming
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 5:26am (UTC -5)
@Sigh2000
Enorphins and pheromones are not the same. Endorphins are a kind of opioid drug your body (and animals) produces, pheromones are a way to communicate through chemicals.
This is what cats do
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunting_(animal_behavior)
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Tim
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 5:50am (UTC -5)
The scene where K1 looks dejected that he can’t go to school inspired my partner and I to recite this:

“What is my propose?”
“You pass butter.”
“Oh my God.”
“Yeah, welcome to the club pal.”
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Tim
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 5:53am (UTC -5)
The scene where K1 looks dejected that he can’t go to school inspired my partner and I to recite this:

“What is my purpose?”
“You pass butter.”
“Oh my God.”
“Yeah, welcome to the club pal.”
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Tim
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 6:04am (UTC -5)
@ Karl

“ They should have had LaMarr consider some sort of invasive surgery which had big side effects but would have made it safer or something, to give some stakes to this story.”

Respectfully disagree. The point of that story wasn’t to have stakes, it was to make people laugh. Mission accomplished in our household.

After some of the heavier subjects this season (in this episode alone: slavery, torture, child murder, and genocide) it was appreciated to see a return to something irreverent. We missed that part of The Orville and we’re delighted to see it come back.
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Tim
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 7:20am (UTC -5)
@Jonathan

“The TNG movies feel totally unlike the series. Even the fan favorite one, the "action" movie, _First Contact_, is boring as can be. I saw it as a young adolescent and again once as an adult. I just don't get the appeal. At least "All Good Things" was a shockingly good finale for the series. What a great place to end on.”

I couldn’t agree with you more. TNG ended for me with “All Good Things”

The movies had a few moments but they never channeled the cerebral energy that made the show what it was. First Contact is the golden boy of the franchise and I don’t get it either. It’s basically half action movie (the ‘A’ plot on Enterprise, ‘B’ plot on Earth at least felt like Classic Trek), which would have been okay if it was “the” action movie, but with the exception of Generations (more on that catastrophe in a minute) they were ALL action movies.

The sea change in Picard’s character was jaw dropping. On the show he was a tea sipping Shakespeare quoting diplomat, who once argued that the Crystalline Entity had the same right to exist as us. In the movies he turns into a generic action hero who shoots first and asks questions later.

Contrast the final fights at the end of Insurrection and Search for Spock. Kirk offers to save Kruge, the man who KILLED HIS SON a few hours ago. Picard allows Ru'afo to be blown up because….. why??? The Enterprise couldn’t beam him into a cell? I can’t recall one “Give me your hand” moment from Picard in any of the TNG movies. 😢

I appreciated his line in Picard S1, “There’s a difference between killing an attacking enemy and watching a wounded one die.” We needed that Picard in at least one of the movies.

Regarding Generations, oh boy, I’ll spare the wall of text I could pen about it and just make two points:

1. We didn’t need the TOS cast in it at all, they got a great sendoff in Undiscovered Country. The studio should have trusted the TNG cast to stand on their own. They never really did; every subsequent movie headlined Spiner and Stewart, the rest of the cast were just props to the writers/studio.

2. The Enterprise-D was a character in her own right and deserved a better ending than she got. The writers killed her off because they thought the saucer landing would look cool (it was a concept sketch in the Tech Manual years before the movie) and it was easier than rebuilding all the sets (designed for 4:3 television) for future movies.

The original Enterprise died to save Spock. D died because Worf forgot to run a security sweep on a recovered hostage and Riker forgot how to rotate shield frequencies and fire back more than once. 🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️
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Booming
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 8:06am (UTC -5)
The appeal of First Contact for me was
- While it isn't Picard, Patrick Stewart gives a strong performance.
- What Trekkie doesn't want to see first contact. That elevates it over the other TNG movies and I also really liked the scene itself. The handshake, it's all a little awkward. Nicely done.
- While it is fairly dark sometimes it kind of ends on positive note.
"I envy you, the world you are going to." I envy you taking those first steps to a new frontier."
- Good soundtrack.
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Marlboro
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 9:14am (UTC -5)
Tim said: "TNG ended for me with “All Good Things”


Absolutely.
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Tim
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 10:56am (UTC -5)
@Booming

FWIW, I agree with your points on the ‘B’ plot, the ending handshake, quote, etc., are the best part of the movie and it is scored/directed/acted brilliantly.

My problem really is Picard. I concur Stewart acted it well, Stewart could turn The Room into gold, but it wasn’t the same character. We had “I, Borg” and “Descent” without seeing Picard even hint at losing control. There were a few other episodes (“The Drumhead”) where his ordeal was leveraged against him in cruel/shocking ways and still he kept his composure.

It could have worked with a bit more runtime, show him deteriorating as the situation becomes progressively more dire, but he’s on edge from the very first scene before they meet the Borg. Starfleet was actually right to hold him back if that was his psychological state (another continuity error since that never came up at all in Descent, they trusted him with a task force)

The original draft of the script is pretty lousy, you can find it easily on the interwebs, way worse than the story we got. One thing they should have considered retaining however would’ve been Riker on the ship with Picard planet-side. Picard would be completely in character giving the duty/honor/future speech to Cochrane, but that would have required giving leading roles not to Stewart and Spiner, something that never happened in the TNG movies. :(

Picard has been a roller-coaster to put it mildly, but will have been worth the ride if they can conjure up a good story that leverages the entire cast in S3, as Search for Spock did with the Enterprise theft scenes.
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Booming
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 11:15am (UTC -5)
@Tim
That's why I wrote "While it isn't Picard". First Contact was the first movie in which Stewart didn't become Picard but Picard became Stewart. That all culminated in ST Picard where ironically the character Picard was completely absent. It didn't bother me in the movie that it was a different character. I always saw the shows as far more important because Star Trek doesn't work that well in a movie format and certainly not as a blockbuster.

I will not watch season 3 of Picard, though. This show has nothing that interests me and that they bring back the old crew smells of desperation. Star trek should have ended with Enterprise, maybe even earlier with Voyager. It is bankrupt. The fact that the cover band, aka the Orville, is now making better sci fi really says it all.
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Marlboro
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 11:45am (UTC -5)
"but will have been worth the ride if they can conjure up a good story that leverages the entire cast in S3"

That's a pretty big "if."


The tragedy of this whole thing is that they are clearly committed to creating new Trek shows, spending boatloads of cash on effects, and hiring (some) decent actors, but won't invest where it's most needed - the writer's room. I've watched 2 seasons of Discovery, one of Picard, and 4 episodes of SNW and they all have similar problems. Pedestrian dialog, under developed sci-fi concepts, and poor plot construction. They need new writers or new show runners before they can get me to tune in. Legally, that is. I'll still pirate the TNG reunion for 'memberberries, of course.
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Sigh2000
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 3:07pm (UTC -5)
@Booming
Oh yes. I was aware of that. Here in the article on "bunting" occurs an interesting statement.

"...and the pheromones released through this work to ease the cat's anxieties about an unfamiliar area.[8]"

Then, I have found that there are those who suggest after the scent marking, endorphins are also being released.
https://www.tuftscatnip.com/catownership/the-art-of-bunting/?amp=1
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Booming
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 3:33pm (UTC -5)
I'm not sure how much I trust the objectivity of a page that has the word catnip in it. :)
This is surely just felinophile fake news propaganda!

Is it normal for a veterinary school of an university in the US to sell cat related merchandise??

Humboldt University has a merchandise shop but that's about it.
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Jaxon
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 4:01pm (UTC -5)
I also discard the movies. The character assassination in the movies amounts to a bloodbath.

Insurrection literally turned Picard into a Maquis.

The Picard of "Preemptive Strike" would court martial the Picard of "Insurrection".

RLM has pointed out the cavalcade of travesty that are the TNG films in detail.
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Leanne
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
The Robot and the Doctor love story is not working really.
I get what they are trying to do , but would a human really go this far to have a "relationship" with a Robot/Kaylon?
This episode was very clunky.
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Sigh2000
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 5:19pm (UTC -5)
@Booming

"I'm not sure how much I trust the objectivity of a page that has the word catnip in it. :)"

Yeah....me neither. : )

The subject of cats seems to bring out a lot of cryptic stuff.
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Jonathan
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 7:51pm (UTC -5)
@Booming:

"Pussy," as an insult, does not come from comparing the male target to a vulva.

Think of pussywillow, pussycat, pussyfooting. It implies being on the fence, weak,unsure of oneself.

Don't be such a girl. Don't get your panties in a bunch. It's that time of the month, huh? etc. are insults that demean women and female anatomy.

Language changes, yes, but it shouldn't change this quickly -- not unless unjustifiably confident ignoramuses claim unknown wordsean something they just made up in their heads.

"Snowflake" in the span of a few years flipped to meaning "emotionally sensitive." For the orevious three decades it meant "unique" due to the popular misconception that every snowflake is special and one of a kind.

In place of bitter, people say "salty." You're salty from crying. You're bitter if you're nursing a grudge.

People cling to the wrong words and phrases as "problematic." Calling Native American places "Devil's XYZ" in many places just means "the locals saw this mountain as the home of a bear god, but because only Jehovah is the real god, all other deities are tricks by the devil." Similar things happened with Westerners in Asia, but the Asians weren't pushed to the brink of extinction and didn't let people rename everything.

"Old wive's tale" = "that idea is so stupid that only an old woman would believe it."

On the other hand, I've seen "herstory" and "folx," even though history is histor+y and not his+story and the word is "folk" (not "folks," unless you're making a joke or speaking in slang) and I fail to see how any adult sees "ks" as "problematic."

TL;DR:

Sexist language exists, but "pussy" is short for "pussycat" as in a wimpy, unsure actor. I'm tired of people citing that word and banning it when other, actually deeply misogynistic language gets a pass.
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Jonathan
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
I'd say "get off my lawn" as I'm having an old man moment, but I fear that in ten years' time, people will forget that phrase's meaning and then well-meaning people will shout and covince us all that "get off my lawn" is an aggressive sligan that asserts the right of cops in law enforcement to engage in racial profiling bevause "lawn" sounds like "law."
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Tim
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 8:52pm (UTC -5)
@ Booming

“ First Contact was the first movie in which Stewart didn't become Picard but Picard became Stewart. ”

Yep. RLM nails this point in the review of Nemesis, how Stewart was the driving force behind the dune buggy chase (quite possibly the worst scene in all the pre-JJ movies) because he likes driving. I like driving too but I don’t think it’s JLP’s cup of tea and even if it were, he risked the whole Prime Directive for it? 🤦🏻‍♂️

“ That all culminated in ST Picard where ironically the character Picard was completely absent. It didn't bother me in the movie that it was a different character.”

I don’t know that I’d go to “completely absent”, I saw flashes of Picard in both seasons, the line I quoted earlier for instance. I keep watching, NuTrek has redeeming qualities in my mind, and FWIW we’re both huge fans of SNJ.

If I had to call out NuTrek for anything it’d be for the ten hour movie nonsense, but that’s all television these days, and with few exceptions most shows (not just Trek) just don’t have enough material to pull it off, so half the runtime ends up being fluff masquerading as a clever misdirection.

If JMS manages to get his Babylon 5 reboot off the ground it’ll be interesting to see, he was one of the first to try this model, but actually had the scripts to fill all that airtime.
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Quincy
Sun, Jul 17, 2022, 12:25am (UTC -5)
@Booming
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 1:20am (UTC -5)
"In Europe alone more than 250.000 women are sex trafficked every year. Sexual violence in general. Abortion. Should I go on? That may not be "endless" but it certainly is still quite substantial and in the rest of the world it goes far beyond that. It is interesting that you flat out declaim that there is no such thing.

Considering that most countries on the planet are patriarchal, I guess that means that those are male nazi horror shows? Or does this only apply to matriarchies? Oh and yes I also object to the word Feminazi. It's just a way for right wing men to smear women they don't like and to casually throw around the word Nazi. Considering that most countries on the planet are patriarchal, I guess that means that those are male nazi horror shows? Or does this only apply to matriarchies?"



So you're conflating crime with institutionalized oppression? I never claimed crime didn't exist. Criminal activity will always be with us, even in some future utopia. That cannot rationally be described as oppression in a society that has long since denounced and outlawed such activity. Just like mind altering substances there is an inelastic demand for sex, illicit or otherwise. Sexual criminals will be with us for as long as that is the truth.

Abortion? Calling Roe v. Wade reversal (which merely sends things back to the states) "oppression" is equivalent to denying that a fetus maybe, might, could, even possibly have rights worth consideration. That is utterly asinine.

Many countries in the world today are indeed horror shows of one sort or another for various reasons. I'm not aware of any matriarchies that are horror shows today. But given the small sample size of matriarchies, that's not saying much. All of which says nothing at all about the horror shows described in the novel and shown on the episode.

As far as what right wing men say or do and why, I'm not one, so I wouldn't know anything about that. You would possibly be the better authority on that, given that you appeared to believe a few episodes back that you could even spy on the thoughts Omicron supposedly thinks ("I've got to teach that b!+&% a lesson!") in the privacy of his own mind. I bow to your Liquid Braino brand telepathy. (In the privacy of my own mind I will henceforth refer to you as the Mind Flayer.) I on the other hand use the word to simply mean female supremacist, which many misandrist feminists are today. As I said, if you have a better term for that, I'm all ears.

Most civilizations are patriarchal because in practice patriarchies outcompete matriarchies. If you could build Amazonia and if it was sufficiently advantageous to do so then some enterprising women already would have and we would see them proliferating today. But alas Themyscira remains forever just over the horizon.

It would apply to any society that enshrines oppression into law, not merely any society afflicted with crime.


@Booming
"You are really debating me on that point?! So first of all if you call a man a pussy, then you are also insulting the women. Meaning that you imply that women are weak and therefor you call a man pussy. Plus there are also maaaany references to male genitalia that are complimentary but none for female genitalia. Many insults against men are about calling them effeminate. To go beyond this one could point to the fact that wikipedia has 27 entries for "pejorative terms for men" and 47 entries for women. As much fun as it would be (zero) to find even more examples or studies about gendered insults to proof to you the most obvious, I have to work."



I actually wasn't debating you on that point. I was genuinely surprised and asking a legitimate question.

In order for your reasoning to be solid it would have to apply across the board. Does calling a black man an Oreo insult white people too?

That's not necessarily what that insult implies. Oft times it's simply referencing the actual function or properties of a vagina and applying that to the man as an insult. And just as often it is simply calling a man what he is not. In the age of "misgendering" and "Respect my pronouns!" I would think that would be well understood.

Case in point, who should feel insulted by this commercial? Men or women? Both? Neither?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiocQTDPfzU

It used to be the case that many insults against women were about calling them masculine. Both genders were punished for stepping outside of their roles, not because the other role was weak. However, feminists and feminist allies/sympathizers systematically 1) made it fashionable for women associated with pop culture to imitate the masculine:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsm4poTWjMs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYGMNzFLvC0
and 2) rendered publicly insulting a woman in this manner socially frowned upon and often hazardous to one's career. Today it is most often feminists who look down on one of the most important roles in existence, the raising of children and taking care of the home.

Can you be more specific about complementary references to male genitalia? For instance, are you talking about something like Sir Mix-A-Lot's "anaconda"? How is a man bragging on his junk any different than when women refer to their magical wombs/vaginas that can "create life"?!? Or Cardi B's and Meg the Stallion's WAP? Or Sheena Easton's Sugar Walls? Or Harry Styles's Watermelon Sugar? If that's not what you mean by complimentary references to genitalia, please specify.

A man being called effeminate is not necessarily an implication that being effeminate is weak, but that a man being effeminate is not being a man, period. A woman being effeminate can and often is worshipped for just that reason. Your conjecture is flawed.

I doubt Wikipedia is an accurate representation on the state of insult culture. I can think up far more than 27 "pejorative terms for men" just off the top of my head. However, you've provided the sources I asked for, so I'll certainly look at them.
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Booming
Sun, Jul 17, 2022, 4:17am (UTC -5)
@Quincy
"So you're conflating crime with institutionalized oppression?"
uff, ok then. So... I never said institutionalized oppression, even though banning abortion certainly qualifies. Crime or broader sexism, like racism, can be oppression.
For example
https://academic.oup.com/poq/article/82/S1/799/4963814?login=true
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ssqu.13049?casa_token=mfBQ_CdiQCEAAAAA:jlPvCb9n_AnsEFf7OvJ3xnpH43-51shuIijdRubgyoYUDeOQcmpVVgOnatSOfZcbGzFSR3byBaT-J_Y

https://www.newsweek.com/nearly-60-percent-republicans-dont-want-woman-president-lifetime-poll-902254

One could mention the number of female senators (24) or governors (9). Only one Dow 30 company has a female CEO. I guess for you that is just the fault of women?

"Criminal activity will always be with us, even in some future utopia."
Ok, good to know that your future utopia still includes gender based crime like men trading women as sexual slaves, which for you is not gender based oppression, just crime.

"As far as what right wing men say or do and why, I'm not one, so I wouldn't know anything about that. "
So you are anti abortion; you don't believe that oppression of women exists in the West; you have no problem calling matriarchies horror shows but refuse to do so explicitly for patriarchies; you seem concerned about misandrist feminists or as you also call them female supremacists. What are you then? Centrists? Leftists? Reclusive?

"In the privacy of my own mind I will henceforth refer to you as the Mind Flayer."
And I will think of you as someone being stuck in the 1980s.

"Most civilizations are patriarchal because in practice patriarchies outcompete matriarchies. "
It's not really outcompeting. Men just didn't let matriarchies happen.

"In order for your reasoning to be solid it would have to apply across the board. Does calling a black man an Oreo insult white people too?"
???eh??? Oreo??? That extremely sugary American cookie??? I do not know that insult so I cannot explain to whom it applies.

"Oft times it's simply referencing the actual function or properties of a vagina and applying that to the man as an insult. And just as often it is simply calling a man what he is not. In the age of "misgendering" and "Respect my pronouns!" I would think that would be well understood."
Let me get this straight, you argue that when men call other men a pu**y, then that doesn't mean in most cases: you are too emotional, weak? But that they are actually pointing out functions or properties of female genitalia???

"Can you be more specific about complementary references to male genitalia?"
The numerous references to balls in movies and shows...

"A man being called effeminate is not necessarily an implication that being effeminate is weak"
You say that you are not right wing but you certainly argue like right wing americans do. In most cases in which a man is called effeminate by other men, especially right wing men, it is meant negatively.

I could have reacted to more of your points but... I do not want to. Well, this has been very pleasant
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEdVDWC1lg0
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Sigh2000
Sun, Jul 17, 2022, 6:39am (UTC -5)
Oh yes....everything is fine. It's just being sent "back to the states"

What does that mean?
At this point it means it got sent to 13 states controlled by Republican politicians. Those states already had trigger laws banning reproductive freedom which went into effect instantly (more or less), without an actual vote by the broad citizenry.

The words "fertilized egg" or "embryo" are not used to describe the issue, since that would embrace a scientific perspective. The male principle added into the female cell is viewed as the only relevant "fact." Is this not tantamount to state imposed religious doctrine?

"back to the states" such a pleasant turn of phrase.
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Jimmy
Sun, Jul 17, 2022, 7:03am (UTC -5)
@Booming

You would be better served by arguing from a logic local to the discussion than shelling Quincy from afar with citations. Note that I’m not saying your logic is flawed in a particular way. Just that three decades in academia has shown me that citations can be chosen to fit nearly any narrative, and deploying them against someone who may not be as familiar with their usage is like bringing a gun to a knife fight. :)
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Jonathan
Sun, Jul 17, 2022, 2:59pm (UTC -5)
So, anyway, back to the episode dealing with a mobile toaster developing feelings ...
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Daniel
Sun, Jul 17, 2022, 5:33pm (UTC -5)
I wish I could understand why Claire is basically in “love” with an appliance. Isaac could just as easily be a toaster. At least when Claire had sex with the blob Yaffet (Norm!) it slightly made sense—-she’s clearly very VERY desperate and it is a living sentient biological creature. Isaac is a dildo that can walk and talk. Claire is the most idiotic character on the show and I’ve yet to see any plot line in which she doesn’t come off as a pathetic woman who will have sex with machines and gelatinous blobs and then get emotional about it. Such a lame character.
(I like the actress just fine. A medical officer is always needed onboard, but why did they make her so close to brain dead?
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mosley
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 12:09am (UTC -5)
While I have to admit that I got dragged into these shit sandwitches myself at least twice, I shall still state for the record that to me personally, these stupid political discussions feel remarkably misplaced here and show a quite despicable lack of respect for Jammers site and work overall. Ever reflected on how inappropriate that is, to turn every single comment section on this site into your personal sandbox where you throw things at each other?

With that, would you mind taking your hatred of each other to Facebook? After all, that's the algorithmically optimized place for that kind of thing. You can find even more people to loudly disagree with there, it's awesome.
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John Harmon
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 12:15am (UTC -5)
The Kaylon robots didn't come with the head cannons built in. Timmis told Charly that they eventually were able to communicate over vast distances and taught each other how to build defenses.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 12:28am (UTC -5)
@Jimmy
"three decades in academia has shown me that citations can be chosen to fit nearly any narrative"

Hear hear.

I've stopped bothering with the citations that Booming brings here, after she pulled a "Bell Curve" on me and cited an article that correlates religious faith with lower IQ as an argument against religion.

As the saying goes, there are three kinds of dishonest conduct: lies, darned lies, and statistics.

@Booming
"In Europe alone more than 250.000 women are sex trafficked every year. Sexual violence in general. Abortion. Should I go on?"

Places like Afghanistan can indeed be described as "male nazi horror shows".

In the western world, however, women have the same legal rights as men. What's even more important: In western society, you're expected - by social norms - to treat women as equal.

Sure, there are plenty of chauvinists and misogynists and even rapists, but their behavior is frowned upon. And if their attitudes leads to the actual abuse of women, they are criminals in the eye of the law and they are sent to prison.

As for the alleged connection between misogyny and the repeal of Roe vs Wade:

There are female supreme justices, and one of them (Amy C. Barrett) sided with the repeal. Had she voted against it, she could have single-handedly reversed the results (from 5-4 in favor to 4-5 against).

So I'm sorry, but you can't blame "the filthy misogynistic men" this time.
(for the record: I'm not happy with that court decision. In our imperfect world, Roe vs Wade is better than the alternative)
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 1:01am (UTC -5)
@Mosley
"I shall still state for the record that to me personally, these stupid political discussions feel remarkably misplaced here and show a quite despicable lack of respect for Jammers site and work overall.
.
.
.
With that, would you mind taking your hatred of each other to Facebook?"

I wholeheartedly agree.

Nothing wrong with discussing off-topic issues par-se, but it should be done respectfully. Too many times, these situations deteriorate into personal mud-slinging fights, which is grossly disrespectful towards EVERYBODY here.

It makes this place grossly unpleasant.

By the way:

I know that sometimes I get dragged into these situations. Unfortunately, that's sometimes the price of voicing your opinion in this hostile environment. In no way does it mean that I endorse this sh*tty situation, and I most certainly do not enjoy it.

It would be really *really* nice if our host started to enforce some basic rules of civil discussion here.
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Booming
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 1:10am (UTC -5)
@mosley
"With that, would you mind taking your hatred of each other to Facebook?"
Taking it to Facebook? What are we? 80? :)

@Jimmy
There might be some areas where it is easier to muddy the water but that is not the case in many others for example that sexism is an important part in political decision making is well established, as is the fact that right wing men have a bigger problem with women in power.
https://www.mapsofworld.com/answers/world/countries-have-never-had-a-female-leader/
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 1:20am (UTC -5)
@Lynos
"When we imagine late night meetings between the Kaylons we are doing the writers' jobs for them."

Can't argue with that. It's definitely a weakness in the writing of this episode.

Especially when Timmis' account, on the face of it, doesn't sound very plausable: A bunch of robots designed to do house chores, somehow develop the ability to communicate over great distances and even install weapons inside their heads.

I'd *love* to see how this happened. Unfortunately, the writers don't seem to know, either, so we're left wondering.
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Sigh2000
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 2:36am (UTC -5)
@mosley
"With that, would you mind taking your hatred of each other to Facebook?"

Point if order: was hatred expressed in any of this? Is going off topic in and of itself a form of hatred?

I am not sure that it was even off topic, since things always range widely on this site.

Because we are human we have emotions, and opinions. None that I know here is Vulcanian. As long as no actual hatred or threat is expressed, the thoughts of others should be tolerated. One may simply scroll by if one does not wish to read.

When Chekov was shot and killed in Spectre of the Gun, we get the following exchange:

Spock: "There is one thing that requires the immediate attention of all of us. Specifically, our future."

Kirk: "But not this minute Spock. It takes us a little longer."

Let our fellow commenters have that time. It will surely return to a more peaceful state eventually.
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John Harmon
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 2:36am (UTC -5)
Not even a mention of how incredible of an actor Mark Jackson is for being able to effortlessly such between the two different versions of Isaac like it's nothing? I thought that was impressive
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 3:34am (UTC -5)
@Sigh2000
"Let our fellow commenters have that time. It will surely return to a more peaceful state eventually."

With all due respect, this cr*p has been going on here for at least two years straight.

I fail to see how "giving it more time" is going to solve the problem.
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Sigh2000
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 4:15am (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

Granted...
There's a lot though that I have learned along the way during these episodes, even when the content is expressed in a style that is displeasing, or doesn't match my mood, and/or particular beliefs.
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mosley
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 9:05am (UTC -5)
@booming

"Taking it to Facebook? What are we? 80? :)"

Errrr, that was the point :)
Yes, Facebook very much feels like the fitting place. Like, when I scroll down the comments of an Orville episode about a toaster with feelings, and it takes maybe one second of scrolling until hilariously unrelated clichée terms like "raaah, pronouns! " or "raaah, feminism! " show up - no offense, but the place that that reminds me of, is Facebook.

Or WhatsApp. You know, the family WhatsApp group that you don't leave out of politeness, where Auntie Karen and Uncle Joe keep posting links to the findings of their, er, "research".

Thats how this looks. It's not pretty. And the place that was explicitly designed for this type of "discussion" is Facebook. There's a reason why I ironically marveled that it's even algorithmically optimized to stir up maximum trouble I mean traffic.

Of course I can just scroll past this, so it's ultimately not a big deal. But it just strikes me as such an incredible lack of respect towards Jammer and his site.
Maybe he doesn't mind, could very well be. But basic decency alone should usually make one sit back and reflect on how appropriate it is to use someone else's site for these personal politics fights on a regular basis.

Cause that's the issue: It's not because sometimes these discussions get out of hand. It's because it now seems to happen Every. Single. Time.

To quote a different franchise than the one this site focuses on : search your feelings, young Jedi, you know I speak the truth ;-)

(or however that one goes)
(not a particularly knowledgeable star wars consumer)
(that's why I hang out here)
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Booming
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 10:35am (UTC -5)
@mosley
"Cause that's the issue: It's not because sometimes these discussions get out of hand. It's because it now seems to happen Every. Single. Time."
I would estimate around 30% of the last Orville and SNW seasons produced a meandering thread. I might be wrong though.

"You know, the family WhatsApp group that you don't leave out of politeness, where Auntie Karen and Uncle Joe keep posting links to the findings of their, er, "research"."
Phew, my family doesn't have that. I'm also not Auntie Karen. :)
Be prepared, I'm going to brag now. I'm a social scientist at the most prestigious university of Germany, which also features one of the best social science institutes in the world, so if I post research or make an argument then that is probably solid but I love to be challenged, problem is that most who argue with me never provide any scientific evidence. An article sometimes or a youtube video but that is it, which leaves me very unimpressed. They then often try to tie me down on some rather minute point which then drags on endlessly. Furthermore, if people make sexist, misogynistic or comparable statements should one just ignore it?

I have my own experiences, I know people who were r...., i know people who had abortions, I know lgbt people who were beaten up. This is far from theoretical for me and because I do lots of framing research, I know how certain people talk.

The decision when to do something is of course up to the individual but I have noticed that the majority tends to be passive even when they witness bad things right in front of them.

But I get your discomfort. Maybe the quality of Star Trek will continue to drop, and this forum will become the equivalent of a bar in a forgotten ghost town. :)

Even Jammer once walked into an argument when somebody basically wrote:"That it is not a problem that black skinned Americans are getting killed far more often." When somebody writes that kind of stuff I just get very angry and really sad.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG-Js_rMEV4

And the rest is history.
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mosley
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 12:29pm (UTC -5)
Everybody always has awesome reasons for partaking in these shit sandwiches, and for the record, I do say this while coming from likely the same political perspective (and country even ;) as you. But still:

The best way, in my humble opinion, is neither to flat out ignore or engage in the debate. That's a false dichotomy.

The best way is to keep repeating "take your US culture war crap somewhere else, thou shalt not vent in someone else's living room day in day out, that's just fraking awful manners."

Cause this is essentially the equivalent of someone else's living room. In real life, people would *never* dare to misbehave like that. Even the most tone deaf anger driven person would have the decency to, well, read the room instead of playing party crasher again and again and again. We sometimes forget that such rules of decency should apply in the virtual realm as well.

.... And if that's asking too much : well, that's where Facebook comes in. These days, one could argue that that's pretty much their remaining business model ;)
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Marlboro
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 2:03pm (UTC -5)
""take your US culture war crap somewhere else"

Hey, you don's see us on Raumpatrouille Orion review sites serving up hot takes about Helmut Schmidt do you?

You should be glad 'cause I've got some VERY strong opinions about Herr Schmidt.
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SC
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 3:33pm (UTC -5)
Awful episode. Barely made it through it, too long and too much filler.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 3:55pm (UTC -5)
@Booming
"I have my own experiences, I know people who were r...., i know people who had abortions, I know lgbt people who were beaten up. This is far from theoretical for me and because I do lots of framing research, I know how certain people talk."

You know something?

You're not the only person here who has first-hand experience with such harsh realities. Many of the people which you so vehemently attack, including myself, are no strangers to life-threatening prejudice. Many of us deal with this cr*p every single day of our lives.

Yet I've never seen the tiniest inkling of compassion or empathy from you on this front. You always treat us like a bunch of spoiled rich privileged white dudes.

And this is really getting tiresome.

To quote Captain Mercer:
"this thing you do, where you act like you have some kind of a monopoly on grief, is starting to wear a little thin."
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Booming
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 4:13pm (UTC -5)
@Omicron
You argue that the rights of an oppressed minority should be limited further. I'm sorry if your life has brought you lots of suffering, but that doesn't make it ok to agitate for oppression of a minority.
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Elliott
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
Like the halcyon days of Voyager reviews, I find myself in stark disagreement with Jammer on this one. While the “comedy scenes” (basically the Family Guy couch-moving gag) were a little trite and tedious, the bulk of this story worked really well for me.

3 or 3.5 stars. What a good little season.
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Marlboro
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
"I keep telling people that they're racist, sexist, homophobes and they STILL don't want to talk to me. Which proves my point, I think."

/Booming
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Booming
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 6:28pm (UTC -5)
@Marlboro
I'm not sure what you are getting at.
1. I'm communicating with lots of people here.
2. I never called Omicron a transphobe
3. He argued for limiting trans rights in the tale of two topas thread and many times before in other threads. He thinks, against the recommendation of the APA and AAP, against the wishes of the parents and the adolescents that gender affirming treatment for adolescents should be banned by law.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 8:04pm (UTC -5)
@Booming
"I'm sorry if your life has brought you lots of suffering, but that doesn't make it ok to agitate for oppression of a minority."

I fail to see how calling for a reasonable age minimum on transgender procedures could be seen as "oppression".

Try to show a little more tolerance towards people who think differently than you do. Not every dissident opinon equal bigotry.
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mosley
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 10:40pm (UTC -5)
Like talking to a wall :-D
Oh well, I tried.

Speaking of walls:

@Marlboro:

While Mr. Schmidt is certainly a person that one can have strong opinions in various directions about, on Orion sites we should definetly keep the focus on the fabulous Bügeleisen Set Design.

Bügeleisen Set Design > Herr Schmidt is what im saying.
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Booming
Tue, Jul 19, 2022, 1:23am (UTC -5)
Reasonable, according to Omicron: having no expertise, having never talked to the people who would be affected, going against the scientific consensus, going against the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics based on the feeling that he is right.

To me that sounds like the opposite of reason but alright.

"Not every dissident opinon (sic) equal (sic) bigotry."
I really don't care why you are for transphobic policies, it's really only important that you are. As will happen in many states soon, denying gender affirmative care directly leads to far higher suicide rates in trans minors.

As Terry Pratchett wrote:"He knew about concerned citizens. Wherever they were, they all spoke the same private language, where 'traditional values' meant 'hang someone'.”

And with this and because of public demand I will try to ignore your emotion based, anti-science opinions.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Jul 19, 2022, 5:06am (UTC -5)
The scientific consensus in 1970 (straight from the APA):
"Homosexuality is a mental llness."

LGBT "rights" activists in 2022:
"It's not reasonable to doubt the scientific consensus. If you do, that's an emotion-based and anti-science opinion".

What delicious irony.
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Booming
Tue, Jul 19, 2022, 5:49am (UTC -5)
That is a very good argument Omicron. Very smart.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEdVDWC1lg0
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mosley
Tue, Jul 19, 2022, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
So, since this has the license of being at least more on topic than the rest :

Check out the wonderfully oldschool intro to "Orion". Great music, cool designs, a real feast for the eyes for anyone who can appreciate the practical effects and unapologetic cheesiness of such historic TV scifi attempts.

If you can appreciate TOS for what it is, you likely will appreciate this intro too. That the episode title at the end of this YouTube sample translates to "attack from outer space" is just the cherry on top :-)

https://youtu.be/Mfv-wtFfTTE
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C.T Phipps
Tue, Jul 19, 2022, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
[["It's not reasonable to doubt the scientific consensus. If you do, that's an emotion-based and anti-science opinion".]]

One is true and one isn't.

Just saying.
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Booming
Tue, Jul 19, 2022, 5:05pm (UTC -5)
@C.T. Phipps
You can challenge the scientific consensus but with science and not with feelings. The only argument Omicron provided was that the APA in 1970, when homosexuality was still a felony in the USA, deemed it a mental illness. Even in 1970 the APA had debates if homosexuality should still be classified as a mental illness or not. So there was no consensus. They gathered more and more data and then changed their position. Science. Omicron's argument boils down to, we shouldn't trust the APA and I guess the AAP as well (Pediatricians, what do they know?!). So yeah his views are entirely based on emotion and are anti-science. His views are comparable to people who argue that global warming is a hoax. By the way, today Great Britain had it's warmest day ever. Two degrees more than the old highest temperature ever recorded.
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SlackerInc
Wed, Jul 20, 2022, 1:45am (UTC -5)
@C.T Phipps: "One is true and one isn't."

Yes, scientific knowledge was terribly imprecise fifty years ago, but has now been perfected. (I'm sure this is what people in the 25th-century Union think as well, especially by comparison to our time.)
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Booming
Wed, Jul 20, 2022, 3:08am (UTC -5)
This entire debate reminds of this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiJXALBX3KM
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SlackerInc
Wed, Jul 20, 2022, 3:33am (UTC -5)
@Boomer, I'm surprised by how much you seem to like "Always Sunny" given how incredibly politically incorrect it is (especially for something made in the 21st century). Good taste though!
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SlackerInc
Wed, Jul 20, 2022, 10:25am (UTC -5)
One thing I haven't seen commented on is the whole idea that Claire doesn't want to "get Isaac's heart at the price of losing his soul" or whatever it was. But isn't it even more of a problem than that? If he did this, he's not going to know Claire from Eve! What reason would we have to expect that he would love her, when he won't even remember her, or her sons?

For that matter, could we really even say it's Isaac at that point? Rising up from the operating table would be a Kaylon with no memories of Isaac's life, and a totally different personality due to the emotion activation.
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Daya
Sat, Jul 23, 2022, 12:50pm (UTC -5)
The Kaylon and Janisi plots are tied together by a common thread. That thread is the oppressed becoming the oppressor. At the moment of fighting back, the fight may have been justified. But the fight itself possibly went overboard, and the holding of a grudge ages after the oppression is even less justifiable. But fights do go overboard, and equality being a multi-dimensional endeavor, is never achieved exactly and perfectly, making it impossible to judge the appropriate stopping criterion for a movement. This is the texture/nuance that Charly talks about at the end. This was an excellent episode.
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Christine
Mon, Jul 25, 2022, 11:49pm (UTC -5)
Wow, a lot of comments. And a lot of ideas to unpack in this episode. I actually rather enjoyed it, although I agree it probably should have been chopped up into two episodes. I'm a romantic so the Claire and Isaac scene made me all giddy, but I just knew something was going to happen and I was expecting the other shoe to drop, as it. It's nice to see Isaac's actor get more screen time outside of the suit. However, the Kaylon backstory could have been weaved into the episode better and expanded upon.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Jul 26, 2022, 5:33am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc
"Yes, scientific knowledge was terribly imprecise fifty years ago, but has now been perfected. (I'm sure this is what people in the 25th-century Union think as well, especially by comparison to our time.)"

To be fair, it depends on which science we're talking about.

In the hard sciences, like physics or chemistry, old theories have an excellent record of remaining USEFUL even when proven inaccurate. Bridges and buildings don't suddenly collapse just because Einstein has proven Newton "wrong".

OTOH when a consensus in the social sciences turns out to be wrong, this causes an enormous amount of suffering. Claims like "black people are inherently inferior" or "women are too emotional to hold a man's job" are NOT useful. In fact, they cause direct harm.

So given this terrible (and quite consistent) record, why should we trust these guys? Especially when:

1. They make claims that seem - at least on the face of it - absurd (like "messing around with the physical development process of little kids is a great idea")
2. Their supporters (here and elsewhere) are more interested in fighting and mud-slinging then actually educating anybody. They *love* ad-hominem attacks and arguments from authority, both of which are elementary logical fallacies.

And when you:
1. Refuse to blindly swallow their cr*p.
2. Insist on following your own basic moral principles.

They blame you for being "unscientific".

Me thinks these people don't understand how the scientific method works...
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Jul 26, 2022, 5:47am (UTC -5)
@Booming
"So yeah his views are entirely based on emotion and are anti-science."

You got me.

As a physicist and educator who spent a considerable amount of his life fighting ignorance and spreading the scientific method, I am "anti-science".

Bravo.

"His views are comparable to people who argue that global warming is a hoax."

The difference is that there's an overwhelming amount of evidence for Global warming. I've been following this topic since the 1980's (yes, since I was a teenager).

(btw the fact that Anthropogenic Global Warming is real, does not mean that the topic isn't being politicized to an insane degree today)
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Booming
Tue, Jul 26, 2022, 6:02am (UTC -5)
@Omicron
First of all, hard sciences have caused far more damage than social science ever did or could. Cannons, H-bombs, gas chambers and the list goes on. Oh and how about putting lead into fuel. No profession has caused more death and destruction than the ones who make up the hard sciences.
Here one example.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV3dnLzthDA

Second, pediatricians are not social scientists.

Third, you have not made a single scientific argument. You just repeat that what you feel is wrong, could be wrong. True, this could all be wrong but based on the knowledge we have right now it is the best course of action.

Fourth, you ignore the harm it would do if we would follow what you and others demand. You want laws that take away the right of parents to decide what's best for their children. Laws that go against the recommendations of American Academy of Pediatricians.

"Me thinks these people don't understand how the scientific method works... "
Yeah, no interest to pick fights or mudslinging here dot dot dot
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SlackerInc
Tue, Jul 26, 2022, 6:50am (UTC -5)
@Booming: "No profession has caused more death and destruction than the ones who make up the hard sciences."

I think you meant to say "No profession has PREVENTED more death and destruction than the ones who make up the hard sciences."

That's snark, of course. The real explanation is that you have credulously imbibed the naturalistic fallacy. Modern sanitation systems, the "green revolution" in agriculture, vaccines, high-tech surgery, and many other modern scientific developments have prevented far more deaths, and eased far more suffering, than bombs or gas chambers have caused. If you were offered the choice to go on a one-way ride in a time machine to any time in the past, and you pick a time earlier than the 21st century, you're crazy. (Personally, I'd go with a week or two at most or maybe even a couple days, and specifically right before the Powerball drawing so I can go back and score a big payday before my arrival in the past changes what numbers are drawn.)

I highly recommend you read Steven Pinker's excellent book (maybe my favorite book of all time) ENLIGHTENMENT NOW.
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Booming
Tue, Jul 26, 2022, 7:16am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc
Hard sciences have a good chance of ending Human existence altogether either through nuclear war, global warming or something else entirely.
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Booming
Tue, Jul 26, 2022, 7:53am (UTC -5)
Also I find the statement that "social science" claimed that "blacks are inferior" a little weird considering that the very first social science course was taught in 1887 in France and sociology only became established as a science in the early 20th century. I also would like to see when "social science" ever claimed that "women are too emotional to hold a man's job"

Oh and what is this??
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superseded_theories_in_science

And all this really doesn't explain what Omicron's hate for the social sciences has to do with pediatricians and medical research. I guess Omicron, who has no medical expertise or experience with their scientific methods, knows better than doctors. Very sciency!
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TheRealTrent
Tue, Jul 26, 2022, 11:40am (UTC -5)
Omicron said: "The scientific consensus in 1970 (straight from the APA): "Homosexuality is a mental llness.""

This is a kind of myth.

It was an increased understanding that homosexuality has a biological cause in the 1950s - a view that had been gaining steam since the late 1800s amongst doctors and psychologists - that prompted a backlash in the US. Driven by popular moral views of the time, people with a religious and/or legal understanding of homosexuality then deliberately pushed, without empirical evidence, the notion that it was a mental illness (this is detailed in books like "Psychoanalysis and Male Homosexuality" and "Walking the Bridgeless Canyon") .

The first empirical study of homosexuality - by Dr Evelyn Hooker - was itself done in the 1950s, and immediately came under surveillance from Sen Joseph McCarthy and his henchmen. When Hooker concluded that homosexuality is not a clinical disorder, the results were suppressed and ignored, as were similar subsequent studies by other scientists. When Hooker’s study were formalized in a government task force report in 1969, the Nixon Administration, finding the report “too liberal and tolerant”, intentionally withheld the findings.

You have to remember, in the 1950s everyone from Freud to Kinsey had books out showing that "everyone is bisexual" or "homosexuality is common" and "normal". You had dozens of studies being done on homosexuality, and you had Beat generation types (William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg etc) gay and being celebrated.

On the other side you had the Army (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders originates with military support as a tool for classification), the church, and various other traditionalists, especially Catholics, who were now assuming more influential positions in academia and were less hesitant about articulating religious concerns. You also had a huge backlash against the en vogue Freudianism, which was seen as “atheistic”, “perverted”, “hedonistic” etc. Leo Bartemeier, head of the APA when it was drawing up its "homosexuality is a mental illness" stance, himself met with Pope Pius XII, who'd recently written "Discourse to Doctors of Neurology", in which the Pope rejected “the pansexualist theory of certain psychoanalytic schools" (the Pope's own words). Their meeting concluded with the Pope telling Bartemeier that when he assumed the presidency of the APA, he should “do honour to the church”. Immediately afterwards, the APA comes out with its "homosexuality is a mental illness" stance. None of these beliefs had credible supporting data backing them up (the APA's view resorted to studies on schizophrenics, prisoners and mental patients, echoing the selection biases explicit in the papers cited by transphobes to justify "transgenderism being a mental illness", which interview religious parents rather than trans kids). Rather, it was a social backlash against rising scientific data.


Booming said: "I also would like to see when "social science" ever claimed that "women are too emotional to hold a man's job"

It probably depends if you class psychiatry as a social science. Nowadays, as social causation for ailments/behavior is treated seriously, psychiatry is typically classed as a social science. But a century ago it would have been thought of as a medical science, and was up to its neck in crazy practices. Psychiatrists were lobotomizing people, castrating gay people, pathologizing lesbians, sterilizing black people, having shady deals with the CIA ("We'll teach you the correct way to torture!"), and scamming patients in cahoots with drug companies (still going strong).

But the good thing about science is that it has a ping effect, like a submarine's sonar; it's always correcting itself. So it tends to weather well bad influences.

SlackerInc said: "modern scientific developments have prevented far more deaths, and eased far more suffering"

There are many philosophers who argue the opposite. The argument is that "progress" increases populations and lifespans, which increases aggregate suffering (more deaths, healthy life expectancy is less than life expectancy, so more years are spent in poor health and/or in pain, aggregate poverty goes up etc), increases psychosocial problems (global stress, worry and pain have all gone up since records began), and that any calculation of progress must entail the historical negatives necessary to get to that point of progress (ecocide, biocide, lots of "good tech" comes from wars etc). The argument is that metrics for progress are never holistic enough, or operate on long enough time-scales, to be meaningful. They don't properly count past, present or future externalities. That's partly why academics so heavily criticize folk like Pinker.
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TheRealTrent
Tue, Jul 26, 2022, 12:12pm (UTC -5)
SlackerInc said: "If you were offered the choice to go on a one-way ride in a time machine to any time in the past, and you pick a time earlier than the 21st century, you're crazy"

Yeah, but that's because time-travelers are carrying certain expectations back in time with them. A dude from Medieval times, in contrast, doesn't walk about sulking that he doesn't have electricity. He doesn't know what electricity is.

There's a sad story about a group of African guys from a poor little village who were "treated" to a tour of some big first world country (I think it was America). When they returned home, all committed suicide within a few years. The were happy until they were able to compare their lives with others.

I agree with your overall point regarding naturalistic fallacies and all that, but I think science fiction too often tilts in the opposite direction (techno fallacies?). There are a lot of variables at play, and it's hard to judge these things.

I remember the utopian SF writer Kim Stanley Robinson trying to answer what constitutes a good, far-future life. From his novel, "2312", I think he has an AI calculate:

"Health, social life, job, house, partners, finances; leisure use, leisure amount; working time, education, income, children; food, water, shelter, clothing, sex, health care; mobility; physical safety, social safety, job security, savings account, insurance, disability protection, family leave, vacation; place tenure, a commons; access to wilderness, mountains, ocean; peace, political stability, political input, political satisfaction; air, water, esteem; status, recognition; home, community, neighbors, civil society, sports, the arts; longevity treatments, gender choice; the opportunity to become more what you are, that’s all you need."
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Booming
Tue, Jul 26, 2022, 12:20pm (UTC -5)
@Trent
"It probably depends if you class psychiatry as a social science."
I see it as a medical science. You have to have medical degree for it.
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Sigh2000
Wed, Jul 27, 2022, 3:07am (UTC -5)
@Booming
Thank you for that great Terry Prachett quote.

By coincidence, I was in a conversation about him on the way to work earlier this morning! He continued to create despite severe neurological hurdles.

Standing up for those who are oppressed is very Trekian. I just hope that all who post here, post things in that spirit. : )
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Jammer
Wed, Jul 27, 2022, 8:45am (UTC -5)
I'm done with the bickering. Anything that looks like more than, say, 40 percent bickering in the post is being deleted, starting with the most recent bicker posts.
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SlackerInc
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 2:35am (UTC -5)
@Booming: "Hard sciences have a good chance of ending Human existence altogether either through nuclear war, global warming or something else entirely."

Definitely not through global warming (we're hardier than that). Probably not entirely through nuclear war (although you can certainly kill most of the population and reduce the quality of life for those who remain). Possibly due to nanotech, a Matrix/Terminator "rise of the machines" through superintelligent AI, or even a black hole created by one of these particle accelerator experiments. That's not a possibility to rule out, and if it goes down that way you and those who think like you will be proved right (although you won't be around to deliver an "I told you so"). But so far hard science has provided a net good for humanity. And I think there's a decent chance of that continuing to be true indefinitely. (If I didn't, I don't think I'd be on this site.)

"Also I find the statement that 'social science' claimed that 'blacks are inferior' a little weird considering that the very first social science course was taught in 1887 in France and sociology only became established as a science in the early 20th century."

Okay, but "scientific racism" was a pretty big thing in the first decades of the 20th century. Now the pendulum has swung too far the other way, to the point where it is taboo to pursue any line of research, analysis or theorizing that some BIPOC person somewhere might object to as having uncomfortable implications.

@TheRealTrent: "That's partly why academics so heavily criticize folk like Pinker."

They criticize him because he so effectively punctures their shibboleths. This argument you are citing from "many philosophers" goes back at least to Malthus and proves wrong again and again (with the only defense possible being your case about the time scale not being long enough: "Just wait...").

"I agree with your overall point regarding naturalistic fallacies and all that, but I think science fiction too often tilts in the opposite direction (techno fallacies?)."

Maybe it did at an earlier stage in its development, but at this level of maturity for the genre, it seems to have tilted heavily toward dystopianism ("The Orville" being a refreshing exception to that trend).

Hope that doesn't qualify as bickering. From where I sit it feels like an interesting, and respectfully conducted, discussion.
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Booming
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 4:18am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc
I wasn't really making the point that "hard science" is actually bad or should be stopped. It surely has a huge potential to kill us all or turn this world into an absolute nightmare but Human curiosity can't be stopped and is now more than ever supercharged by the profit motive. The net positive is probably there, and the same is true for social sciences.

My point was really that sometimes science can hurt people. One could add that the whole soft science, hard science divide will disappear eventually anyway. At the moment social scientific research is hindered by the do no harm maxim. We cannot put a Human in a particle accelerator to study the splash patterns. :) In other words all social science is limited by informed consent and do no harm (or very little). In the future computer models of Human behavior will become so incredibly precise that the social sciences will be as accurate as physics. Let's not forget that for example physics is far older as a science than sociology. I don't know when the first physics department came into existence but the University of Leipzig had it's first physics courses in 1409 and where was physics in 1550?! Compared to that I would argue that the social sciences made it far quicker out of their infancy.

"Okay, but "scientific racism" was a pretty big thing in the first decades of the 20th century."
Sure but those were all pseudosciences and quite a few of them were part of the so called hard sciences like Eugenics or phrenology. They all were based on methods that flew in the face of empiricism and the scientific method.

" analysis or theorizing that some BIPOC person somewhere might object to as having uncomfortable implications."
I can personally guarantee you that this is not true for Germany. I know that this is kind of your personal thing but I doubt that it is actually true even for US universities. I constantly deal with data, quite a bit of it not available to the public, that could have negative implications for any number of people and I know of numerous studies, like studies about crime or poverty, that use that data. There is always a lot of media garbage about the horrors of personal correctness terror because there is an audience for it aka profit to be made/careers to be started. Furthermore, students are always more progressive and always scare the older population. I wouldn't be surprised if that was culturally universal.
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Jammer
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 7:17am (UTC -5)
@Slackerinc: "Hope that doesn't qualify as bickering. From where I sit it feels like an interesting, and respectfully conducted, discussion."

Absolutely. Discussing and arguing the merits is completely fine. Attacking other posters and making it *about them* (aka bickering, with no larger substantive point) is what I'm hoping to avoid here, and is the sort of thing that will be deleted, because it's a waste of everyone's time.
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Polly
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 11:28am (UTC -5)
They went with the classic Star Trek idea that a matriarchal society would be run the same way as a patriarchal one, with the roles of men and women reversed, and that the women in charge would be uniformly rude and humourless and would travel with insane amounts of luggage because LOL they're women! Come to think of it, though, just about all alien cultures are depicted as rude and humourless - perhaps that's just the American view of 'foreigners'.

It would be nice if they would put some effort into imagining how a truly alien culture might be organised (why not go with a hive-like set-up as in Terry Pratchett's Wee Free Men?} but no need to kid ourselves that these are anything other than 'what if' scenarios based on humanity.

I found the emotional Isaac somewhat creepy, and the whole idea of encouraging, or indeed pressuring him to alter himself was potentially self-defeating for Claire - if he can fall in love with her, what's to stop him finding a better emotional connection with someone else? He could set his blue lights on Keyali - at least she wouldn't be able to break him. I don't find Claire's romantic attachment to Isaac unbelievable. He is a lot more than a toaster and women fall in love with online avatars, and with Colonels of Marines with Nigerian accents so why not with him? Romantic love is largely illusory, in the early stages at any rate.
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SlackerInc
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 2:52pm (UTC -5)
@Jammer: Cool.

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